March 6, 2019
Self-love is arguably one of the hardest things for me to try to explain.
I struggled most of my life with the idea of loving myself. I used to believe that feeling good about yourself, complimenting your features, and looking in the mirror and giving your reflection an awkward, “you got this, beautiful” was just about as weird as it gets.
Why is it so hard to love ourselves? To genuinely be proud of where we are, right here and now without guilt.
Maybe it’s because we have people telling us to be:
…skinnier, stronger, curvier, live this way, be like them, and a million other things that make us question our worth. every. single. day.
To first understand why you may be hard on yourself, you have to identify what happened in your past to make you feel that way. There is usually something that sticks with us, whether it’s something someone said to us or what we see on social media.
I had to dig deep with this.
I am an extreme people pleaser, it sometimes feels impossible to do what I want because of the fear of what others may say. So when I think of something that happened in my past to bring me to the point of negative self-talk and hatred towards who God made me to be, it’s challenging.
However, I grew up with four older brothers. I wasn’t necessarily close to any of them growing up and as a little girl, especially being the baby of the family, I found myself in constant need to get their approval for everything. I wanted them to think I was funny and smart and worthy. I think that approval from them my entire life carried over into my first real relationship which led to putting unnecessary pressure on myself to be perfect and get the approval from my boyfriend. I wanted him to make me feel worthy and fulfilled and beautiful. And when I didn’t get the approval I wanted, I was very hard on myself and compared every part of me to other people.
I also never felt smart growing up because school was a challenge. I get extreme test anxiety and even if I know all the answers, once it’s time to be tested on them, I completely freeze. It made me very self-conscious and I wish I would have said something but I was so embarrassed that I just let myself believe I was dumb. I don’t learn the way everyone else does. I am a visual person and that’s okay but for my entire life, I allowed that to define me.
I can’t be sure if these are the exact reasons that made me feel insignificant but I think a combination of that and social media definitely resulting in negative self-talk.
There is no worldly being or thing that can dictate your worth and nothing can tell you how enough you really are, besides God.
So when I spent that entire relationship with my boyfriend blaming him for my own insecurities and lack of confidence, it could never be a strong relationship. Because instead of God being the center of it, it was my self-doubt. I think I’ve come a long way to be able to admit that and not blame others for my own actions.
I have learned a lot when it comes to this and it has taken many years to feel confident in myself for who I am. And some days are better than others. Loving yourself is a constant daily practice. It’s not a one and done situation because every day the devil will try to get in your head before you even open your eyes in the morning. Before you can get out of bed, negative thoughts will try to get in the way.
SO!!!! I wanted to share a few tips on how I practice self-love each and every day to hopefully encourage you to do the same because you deserve the peace of loving yourself. It takes much more than just these tips but I wanted to start with just a few.
1 // stop the negative thoughts before they can even begin
Before you do anything else in the morning, spend time reading a devotional, listening to something uplifting, or your favorite music. Open your heart to God’s voice and let it be the loudest thing you hear all day long. Constantly reach for Him when you find your mind drifting. Do all of this before social media, and before anyone else demands your attention. Putting on His armor will get you through anything the day brings. Trust me. Social media puts you in a constant state of reaction and comparison and we don’t want that.
And please, unfollow anyone that makes you feel bad about yourself in ANY way.
2 // actually say you love yourself out loud, and then prove it
The best way to love yourself is to repeat it and then prove it to yourself. What are you going to do in your life to actually make that change? Is it finally going to the gym so you can be healthy and feel good? Or maybe it’s leaving that relationship or friendship or job that is only bringing you pain. Are you going to love yourself enough to take the steps necessary in order to change your life?
Through doing this, I found my mental state change each day. I found myself doing things and creating healthy habits that were hard at the time, but brought significant joy into my life.
You feel confident by doing.
By being scared and doing it anyway.
It might be easy just to say, “I love myself” but the challenge is doing something to actually prove it.
3 // let go of the past, and accept change
One of the hardest things can be accepting change in your life because we are stuck in the past. I am not who I was 5 years ago, or even a week ago because I allow the change in my life every single day. You are not your past, you are not the negative thoughts in your head, you are not whatever hurtful things people have said about you.
If you said to yourself yesterday that you are lazy and worthless and ugly and gross.
First of all, no.
And second of all, that was yesterday and we don’t think about that anymore. Today is a new day, it’s a new opportunity to change, and be better and try again.
That is the devil’s one goal, to keep you away from the truth. You are not who others say you are, you are who God says you are. Point blank period.
These are all my opinions. I would never push my beliefs on you. I’m just sharing how God and these positive thoughts have changed my life. I don’t want you to be a slave to negative thoughts anymore. Don’t let them hold you back from chasing your dreams and changing your circumstances. You can make a decision right now to change, to love yourself, to constantly repeat positive affirmations in your head every minute that you need to.
In my opinion, self-love comes from saying goodbye to the past to allow yourself to be better. You deserve that. You might lose friends, you might have to give up everything you are comfortable with but only better things will come.
I let go of the idea that I was dumb, and now I am an entrepreneur. I found my worth in who God says I am and not in what a man thinks of me, and I found my husband. Be patient with yourself today.
You are loved, you are enough, and you are allowed to change and become who you really want to be.
I want to make this self-love topic a series here to talk openly with you. So let me know what else you want to hear, any stories you want me to share. I am an open book. Would love to hear from you in the comments as well!
all my love,